Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 Rundown. Sort Of.

I keep trying to write a fitting ending to the blog for 2010 and I keep coming across like a douche. Apparently I have nothing interesting or funny to say about 2010. While I was living it (most of it anyway) it seemed pretty great. Sure the Olympics and I had some misunderstandings before they arrived but when they were here, they were glorious. Something to tell the grandkids for sure. Yeah I lost my job, but what kind of job was that anyway? It sucked! Getting laid off was awesome (aside from the fact that I didn't get to do any of the things I fantasized about had I been able to quit. Like throw John under the bus)

In an attempt to finish this post I keep looking back and reading some of the posts that I've read. I meant to compile a list of my favourite posts, or a list of lessons learned but honestly? I just didn't and now I'm reading them thinking, you know maybe I should have because some of those posts? They're not half bad. But I can't choose any specific ones to brighten your day with. So maybe that's something that you can do with your hangover. I promise the Cubicle Confusion archives are excellent.

Do you make resolutions at this time of year? I used to but I stopped because I don't follow through and its bad for my self-esteem. If you do make resolutions, more power to you. Maybe I will start making resolutions about things that I already do. Like I resolve to Be Awesome or Stay Blonde. Then I'm keeping my resolution and bettering my life but I'm also upping my self-esteem with some good old fashioned follow through.

Did I already mention to you all that we finally got our sh*t together and set up the spare room? I'm writing this to you from a shiny new desk. Well it will be a shiny new (to us) desk once we power sand the hell out of it and paint it a shiny new colour. I'm torn between blue and red. Leaning towards the red. But the blue is really great too. They are Behr colours: Licorice Stick and Blue Luxury. If you have nothing else to do maybe you want to investigate these colours for me and offer your opinion? There's a futon in here now too. A nice, organized, clean space for us to get stuff done in. Stuff like blog and find a great job and download movies. No I'm kidding, I don't job search on my own time anymore.

I think we're going to paint this room too. Right now its stock condo beige and I hate beige.

Going to be getting your drink on tonight? Its basically mandatory isn't it? I'm not the biggest fan of New Year's to be honest. Seems like its always one of those things where you're supposed to have a really great time but really? You spend a bunch of money to drink somewhere and then you end up dropped on the ground on the way to the skytrain which...only runs until like 2. I'm sure that Translink is googling themselves into the new year and so let me take this opportunity to say that you guys do a great job at Translink. Buses run on time and the operators are normally very pleasant. But we have a bit of a drinking and driving problem in this city and this citizen places some of that blame at your door. Offer better, longer service so that transit is a real possibility if you're out at the bar (not that I condone drinking and driving. I don't. But cabs are expensive and people are stupid. Transit should be a reliable option). The bars close at 2 or 3. Your last night bus (certain routes) leave downtown at 3.10. Ever try to reason with a drunk? Extend operating hours. At least on weekends. I'm not even going out tonight- we're having people over here and still people refuse to drink because there's no way to get home on the bus. Considering that I live at a bus loop, that's bad.

Alright, there's no need to drag this on any longer. Plus The Boyfriend is getting bored without my sparkling personality to entertain him. I hope that you have a wonderful and safe New Year's and that all your dreams come true in 2011!

Or you know, something that sounds like that but less douchey.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Good Reads

Since its the last week of 2010 (Vancouver, can you believe that 2010 is almost over?! All those years counting down to the beginning of 2010 and now we're at the dawn of 2011!) I thought that this week might be an appropriate time for summations, and looks back. Traditional, end of year fare.

On today's agenda, Good Reads.

I set myself a challenge at the beginning of the year to read 75 books in 2010. I'm proud to say that I'm currently on my 75th book- clearly I'm going to have to up the ante for 2011. I urge you to join me in this valiant attempt. I thought that having read 75 books I could choose my Top 10 to share with you.

Choosing 10 out of 75 is no easy feat so I may have found a couple of ways to cheat. Nonetheless, here are my Top 10 Reads of 2010.

1. Jen Lancaster. I know Jen Lancaster isn't technically a book, but she's an author and she's changed my life. I relate to her in ways I didn't know were possible. It started with Bitter Is The New Black, continued with Bright Lights Big Ass and was solidified with Such A Pretty Fat. Since my celebrity news access has been blocked at the new job, Jen Lancaster's blog is the only thing that gets me through the bleak periods. If you haven't discovered the written power of Jen Lancaster I just don't know what you're waiting for!

2. The One Week Job Project by Sean Aiken. Perhaps you might remember when I wrote about the impact that this book had on me. Looking back now, in a strange way it gave me hope that there was more out there than a soul-sucking job for no money. The book was funny, the writing engaging, but the lessons I took away from that book are what will stay with me.

3. We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver. First off, Lionel Shriver is a woman. A woman with the most insane vocabulary ever. And she writes some seriously disturbing sh*t. But sh*t in a good way because the things she writes about are things that need to be discussed. Like this one about the aftermath of a school shooting and what its like to be the mother of the shooter. We've all read about these incidents in the news, Lionel Shriver takes you inside, what it was like raising that child. Its a really intense read, the kind that you sit and think about for a while after.

4. The Millennium Trilogy  by Stieg Larsson. I can't claim immunity from the Lisbeth Salandar mania that seems to have gripped the publishing world this year. Every time I think about the kicka$$ heroine in these books I think about what a shame it was that Stieg Larsson never lived to see his books become publishing juggernauts. If you haven't jumped on board the Millennium train yet, please do. Just don't blame me when you're still up at 3am trying to finish one off.

5. Spooky Little Girl by Laurie Notaro. The first of 2 recommendations made by Jen Lancaster that I read this year (I'm not kidding when I say this woman impacted my life this year!). A truly original story that I read in 2 sittings. It made me laugh, it made me cry and it made me write to Laurie to tell her how much I enjoyed it (something I have NEVER done). She even emailed me back, solidifying my loyalty forever.

6. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte. Admittedly the Brontes are not everyone's cup of tea but what really struck me about this book was how modern it actually was. Alcoholism and spousal abuse are the main themes of this fantastic book about a woman just trying to start her life again. I can't imagine that there were too many novels addressing these themes at the time. An excellent classic for your reading list.

7. The Lost Life of Eva Braun by Angela Lambert. Only the second biography of Eva Braun ever written, the first by a woman. I've long been fascinated by the idea of Eva Braun- what kind of woman falls in love with the man responsible for the Holocaust? A naive 17 year old that's who. This portrait of Eva Braun made her relatable, gave her a human face and above all dispels the aura of mystery that has long surrounded her. I found this one at the library and as soon as the money starts to flow in more regularly I'm ordering a copy for my collection.

8. The Long Walk To Freedom by Nelson Mandela. I probably could not have chosen a better time to read this book than during the World Cup in South Africa this year. It was recommended to me by my good friend Mona and I can't thank her enough. Obviously I studied apartheid in school but that was just touching on it. I had no idea. I thought Mr. Mandela was a good man before I read this but I had no idea how much he sacrificed, how forgiving and how honourable a man he truly is before I read his book. Thanks Mona!

9. Orange Is The New Black: My Year In A Women's Prison by Piper Kerman. Another Jen Lancaster recommendation. I don't know about you but I've never given that much thought to the lives of women in prison. Its just not something that has crossed my mind. Piper Kerman made some bad decisions in her youth and a decade later those decisions come back and she has to pay the consequences. She writes about her fellow inmates with respect and humanity, paying tribute to their resilience and integrity. An eye opening read.

10. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. Many times while reading this book I had to stop and remind myself that the author wasn't making any of it up, but that she had lived it. This is how she grew up. Its an unbelievable story- you won't believe any of what I tell you. You just need to read it for yourself.

Honourable mentions:

The Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyer. Not because they are well-written and life changing but because I spent 2 or 3 days holed up with all 4 volumes, ignoring everything else in my life just so that I could finish my lines of book coke.

Freakonomics and Superfreakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner. I'm not big on economics but what these guys do with economic theory is entertaining and thought provoking.

One Fifth Avenue by Candace Bushnell. I didn't like Sex and the City as a book but every one of her books since then has gotten better. One Fifth Avenue is definitely the best of the bunch and I look forward to more.

If you're really lucky (and/or I run out of posting ideas in the next few days) I will post a complete list of all the books I read this year. But like I said, only if you're really lucky.

What was your favourite read this year?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Dear Santa

This morning I was all "this place is awesome! I can totally make a go of things here!"

I had my giant tea without an extra helping of attitude from the barista, I got a box of very nice chocolates from one of the bosses, was throwing around 'merry christmas' to all.

Spreading some goddamn holiday spirit I was.


Tomorrow is Christmas Eve. The office closes at noon. How great is that? Just 4 hours! So easy to get through, everyone will be happy and then we can all go home to celebrate.

Everyone leaving the office at noon take one step forward. Hold it Job Snob, not so fast.

Even though it's Christmas for the accounting dept it's largely business as usual. Which means that some very important stuff needs to go out tomorrow as per usual. Since FedEx can only guarantee that they will be here by 1 (and we close at noon) someone has to be here to wait on FedEx.

And who better than the TEMP (did I mention I'm a temp for the first 3 months?) who started 3 weeks ago? She can't possibly want to go home like everyone else? She probably doesnt have a Christmas Eve dinner in Ladner she wants to get to. No she'd definitely be the best (and cheapest) option here. And since the rest of us have the day off anyway, what other option is there?

Who cares? As long as we're not staying!

Dear Santa, Job Snob here. You'd agree I was pretty good this year right? Put up with a lot of sh*t, smiled and took it. Still tried to be positive. If I could ask for one thing this Christmas? Please send me a new job that recognizes my awesome and treats me with respect. A boss that doesn't take advantage of my good nature. If it exists Santa, I know you will make it happen. I've seen your work before. I'm a fan.

Merry Christmas folks. If you don't celebrate Christmas, I hope you enjoy some nice time off courtesy of the baby Jesus.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, December 20, 2010

Climate Change

I've been back at the daily grind for over 2 weeks now (yes today was the first day of week 3, but still-more than 2 weeks) and I'd say that the new job has already made a big impact on my day-to-day life. I thought that since today marks the official end of my hobo-dom (I got off the Employment Insurance teat today), it was as good a day as any to discuss said changes.

Anyone else feel like use of the word "changes" in most circumstances feels like its going to be followed up with talk about your body? No? Just me. Let's carry on then.

Even though I have yet to actually get paid, I feel like I'm not quite destitute anymore. Like I said to The Boyfriend, even though I haven't got a paycheque yet I'm spending money like I have. Its Christmas guys, what can I do? It was just nice not to have to agonize about every little expenditure and be able to give some much needed donations to the food bank and toy drives.

There's more money coming in (OK, there's the promise of more money coming in) but there is decidedly less sleep. I have to be at work at 7.45 (even though I only get paid starting at 8...someone will be hearing about that at some point soon) and because it takes about 50 minutes to get downtown (40 minutes if traffic is excellent) I'm leaving my house about 6.45 (taking into account walking-to-the-bus-stop time). I'm up at 6, I spend the day around people (which is exhausting when you're out of practice) and I spend a good chunk of my day bored out of my skull. All of this boils down to the fact that by 9.30 I'm begging to be allowed to go to bed.

All this time spent working means a lot less time for Real Housewives. The Record keeps telling me that she had a lot more respect for me before she knew about my reality TV addiction. What can I say? NeNe appeals to the inner black woman in me, the Jersey housewives dazzle me with their bling and D.C? They try to keep sh*t classy in between their cat fights. But the working has seriously cut into my Housewives time and my life is the poorer for it.

I'm getting yelled at a lot more than I was when I was spending my days watching other people yell at each other. I mean, occasionally The Boyfriend would call me an a$$hole (with love y'all [yup, I'm Southern]) but he never yelled at me about couriers. I don't know if its because I'm blonde and they think my life's ambition is to be a Receptionist or if its because my predecessors were idiots, but people talk to me like I'm spending my days licking windows. Hopefully this wears off soon because it is wearing thin.

If you can imagine how much less time there is for Housewives (which I had to fit around The Boyfriend because God forbid he was in the same room as an episode) can you imagine how much less time there is for reading? I was getting through like 4 books a week while I was living off the government. Now I only have about 2 hours a day and I feel like I've been reading The Unruly Queen for months! Its partly that I'm having a lot of trouble just getting into it but its also that the ride into work has me so sleepy that its all I can do to hold the book up, let alone read and retain anything!

Which brings me to my last point: more Starbucks. I need it. I need more than I did before (upgraded to a venti). I am not a morning person and my days are starting early now, so a venti vanilla earl grey tea latte is all that' standing between me and mass murder. And even though one time the barista totally gave me attitude about my card not working (apparently my debit card has an expiration date and it won't work there but it works everywhere else) I go back every morning begging for a caffeine drip.

So there you have it. A comprehensive look at how my life has changed now that I'm no longer a drain on society.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sad Men

I've been back at 'er for almost 2 whole weeks.

In a lot of ways this new gig is really different. I listened to co-workers run in and out of an office this afternoon, screeching and laughing as they tried to help a guy choose an engagement ring for his girlfriend. 'Tis the season for engagements folks. The weird thing was that they were all having fun and no one got mad at them for it. People genuinely seem to like where they work, which is really different.

But many things are also the same. The blaming of other people (the poor 'green' [as in new] Receptionist is an easy target) for when you can't get your sh*t together enough to get your job done. The hours filled with nothing more stimulating than solitaire or the Vancouver Sun website (which, while interesting, doesn't exactly take a long time to read through).

I work with mostly men at this new job and that's something very different. They are all really smart with things like building bridges but when it comes to mailing a letter, they have no idea where to start. So it would follow that some of these gentlemen might have some...let's say challenges when it comes to dressing themselves. Obviously they have more worldly concerns on their minds than matching the belt to the shoes.

Here are some pointers for the gentlemen:

1. A rain poncho is never a good idea. OK maybe if you are at Niagara Falls, its a good idea. But if you work downtown, and you don't want to get wet, maybe an umbrella would be better, or a proper raincoat. Something with sleeves maybe? Definitely not a rain cape, and definitely not one that's pea soup green.

2. Pocket protectors, in theory, are a great idea. In practice they make you look like a huge dork. Just stop.

3. A man should always double check that the barn door is closed. Triple check even.

4. I'm not a fan of the short sleeved dress shirt. I feel like you should just get long sleeved dress shirts and should the need arise, roll up your sleeves. Not only does this project an aura of getting stuff done (literally rolling up your sleeves, get it?) it just looks so much better. When you are a grown a$$ man and you wear short sleeved dress shirts you automatically look like a little boy on his way to church.

5. Wearing a light coloured dress shirt and neglecting the undershirt is bad. Michael Jordan wears undershirts, undershirts are cool. There is no excuse to forgo this basic foundation garment. I don't like to see your nipples through your shirt, I find it uncomfortable. If I have to wear a bra (which I hate) then you have to wear an undershirt.

So yeah. A break from ragging on the office whores. I'm all about equality.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Today I played solitaire.

I feel like that sums up my working experience at this new job. Obviously this blog is not going to become obsolete any time soon because it turns out I'm no closer to finding that something that I can do long term than I was when I was hobo-ing it up with the Housewives.

I just got back from my 9 hours in the office, a mind-numbing 9 hours that saw me get yelled at because the FedEx guy came too early, discuss fake toner vendors, and train the heavy lifting guy the art of the switchboard. Everyone seemed really concerned about whether I was going to be able to handle teaching someone else the switchboard. People, I've been here for 8 days, 7 of them on my own. Its not rocket science, its a switchboard.

Obviously the office would fall apart without me. We all know that the people that make the most money can't handle simple tasks like mailing stuff and scheduling conference rooms. But I'm boooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooored. Did I mention its been 8 days? Eight whole days and I'm already this bored. People keep telling me that as they see that I've mastered the daily grind, I will be given more work. (Does it not look like I've mastered this sh*t yet?) But I'm not sure that it will make a difference. Yes, I will be busier (and that will help to ease the agony of playing solitaire and thinking of websites to visit that aren't blocked) but will I be doing anything worthwhile? Probably not (according to me anyway, and what is our generation about if not pleasing ourselves? [that came out wrong {hehehe, came}]). 

Master of the brackets.

Anywhoodle, all is not lost. I used a good chunk of the day to search for something new. I'm on my way to apply for 2 more jobs right now. One is another reception gig but at least this one would be at a company that I could see myself transitioning into a more permanent role. 

It seems likely that for now though, this will be my daily grind. I'm about to become a master of the solitaire (I'm already pretty damn good). There are some good characters in this place that I will have to introduce you to. And I guess the silver lining here is that I really don't have to do anything to change this here blog, because although the job has changed, I'm still searching for something better.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

What Would Jen Lancaster Do?

I have been at my new job for 2 days. The people? Are awesome. Everyone likes coming to work, enjoys the company of their co-workers. Its insane.

The holidays? Actually matter. Not just with some bullsh*t one hour lunch potluck and some half a$$ decorations either. Today? I organized a courier to pick up cases and flats of booze. The office will be closed for the week after Christmas. You know, so that people can go home, be with their families, enjoy the holidays instead of spending it back in the office?

Its not the most challenging job I've ever had, but the atmosphere is amazing and I have high hopes for a future with the company.

But all this newfound happiness and job-satisfaction leaves us with a conundrum: What to do with this here blog?

Obviously part of the charm here was that I was so professionally unfulfilled and let's face it, down right crusty about it.

Now I have no venom to spew about my working environment. You're probably thinking, "Give it time, its only been 2 days" and you would be right. But unless you have experienced working in the kind of place that I did (ask The Record, she knows what its like) you just can't understand how this works. A tense, crappy, horrible working environment? You can feel that sh*t right away. You can see it on people's faces and unhappy people will freely vent to the new people (come on, I did that all the time). It doesn't take long for the mask to slip and the real face of a company to emerge.

Where were we? Right. The blog. So I started this blog as way to rant and rave (anonymously) about the f*cktards I worked with. And then it became about my job search when they so unceremoniously dismissed me. And now I'm re-employed and the blog as is, just doesn't seem to work anymore does it?

I don't want to be one of those people that blogs about nothing. I had enough trouble with a theme and I don't have the Jerry Seinfeld/Jen Lancaster/Dave Barry talent of making nothing hilarious and feel like something. So what to do what to do?

Thoughts? Comments? Suggestions?

Obviously I'm not fashionable like my friend Niki so that's out. I don't have kids so no amusing anecdotes a la Mommy blogging. I toyed with the idea of a dog blog but I don't have a dog...yet. I mean unless people want to read about my quest to try and convince my boyfriend that I'm responsible enough to get one...

The only thing I have going on is that I like to read. But aren't there a lot of blogs like that out there already? I think I would really miss blogging if I just stopped.

So send me your ideas people. I would also really love it if I didn't have to be anonymous anymore.

Friday, December 3, 2010

I Was Right

And I love to be right. Even though it happens often, I will never get tired of it.

You know how the other day I was card shopping and came across a card about a new job and I took that as a sign that good things were coming my way?

(Yes, I do believe in signs and all that sh*t- I'm a pisces!)

Well the Universe was right on. As we were leaving the grocery store I got a call from the recruiter telling me that the company that she had sent my resume to the day before wanted to meet with me. In 3 hours. I had to get home, run the dog, shower, get dressed, print off updated reference sheets, and get downtown. In 3 hours.

Which I did because I'm amazing like that.

The interview went really well, the people were fantastic. I was really honest about the fact that I have a Communications background that I want to establish a career in and that while I'm fine working as a receptionist right now (which is what the job is) I'm looking to move on in a certain timeframe.

I didn't know this at the time but the girl that is in the role right now has been there for 3 months and is being promoted. So I like my chances.

This is the long way of telling you all that I am officially no longer a drain on society.

That's right. I got a job. A job that can actually lead somewhere. A job that I'm confident I can be happy in.

I hadn't realized it but that other place? It really messed me up. I mean I realized it, but I didn't know the extent of it. When I temped last week, I was relaxed and happy. That's a state of being that I forgot existed in the workplace. My references were amazing (as they always are) and the recruiter told me that the HR guy that I interviewed with really liked my "energy" and that I was a "breath of fresh air".

Do you know how much that meant to me to hear? After John who questioned my mental health, after Veronica who made underhanded compliments, after Amy who told me that maybe I should just move on? You know, before she terminated me without cause. After all the bullsh*t I had to deal with, all the personal hits I took from those dipsh*ts, to hear that someone I will work with likes me?! I had no idea how badly off I was.

Anyway, I start Monday.

I'm going to be honest, I don't know what will happen with this blog, if anything. I started it as a way to deal with my last job and it turned into a way to think things through during my bout of unemployment. You've all been so supportive at these various stages of mental wellbeing and I can't thank you enough! But what the hell would we talk about now? Now that the prospect of being content in my working life looms large in front of me?

To be decided. For now, I'm just ready to start my new job, in a new state of mind!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Card Shark

Today I was doing groceries and went to pick out a Hallmark card (you know because I care enough to send the very best) for my friend's housewarming later this week and came across a card that I wish some thoughtful soul had got for me back in August. Hell I'd accept it now.

Basically the gist of it was that the sender was sorry that I had lost my job but that obviously I was destined for bigger and better things and this was just a speedbump in getting there. How thoughtful would that have been?

We were still searching for a housewarming card (seriously, they have a "workplace challenges" card but housewarming is impossible to find) and I saw a congratulations on your new job card. I'm taking it as a sign.

Good things are coming I can feel it.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, November 29, 2010

Puppy Bruises

Its snowing outside. I'm telling you this because I just went on facebook and it seems like its snowing around the northern hemisphere today. Well snow is being proclaimed in Ireland, the Netherlands and Spain (and Vancouver!) which is basically the entire northern hemisphere wouldn't you agree?

Basically its cold. Not helping the situation is the fact that The Boyfriend's parents took off to Mexico yesterday. We dropped them off and everything. So while they are drinking fancy slushy drinks and lying in the sun reading, we are taking care of their dog and freezing.

She's very adorable- she's only 7 months old and she's a chocolate labrador. You just can't get more adorable than that. But she has some bad habits. She's a mouther. It was worse when she had sharp little puppy teeth because my arms were scratched up and bleeding, but now that its been downgraded to bruising, its not that much better.

She sleeps in the bed. I've never had a dog sleep in bed with me. It seems wrong. I mean she was very cuddly but I like to have space you know? And she snores. I'm a pretty heavy sleeper so it doesn't wake me up but The Boyfriend will wake up to the sounds of a butterfly's wings gently scraping past the window. I already know that I have a tendency to snore when I'm really tired or sick (and waking up at 5.30 to drive to the airport, spend the day looking after the needs of a puppy AND dinner at my parents' definitely qualifies me as being tired) so as The Boyfriend so astutely put it this morning "Now I got 2 b*tches snoring in bed."

That was after he hit me.

He meant to hit the bed to scare the dog from the mouthing she was doing, but I was still in bed and he slammed his hand down on my knee instead. My bad. I should have got out of bed.

A pretty eventful morning so far and its only 9.25. I should get up early more often, might get more stuff done. Or not. You never know. Besides the job searching, I would say that today's flurries call for reading and tea.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Temporary Situation

Yesterday I temped.

When I got laid off the Temps in our office were all about me temping going forward and I'm pretty sure that I said something like "I will never be a Temp". When I went and talked to my recruiter, she asked me if I wanted to to temp and I told her that I wasn't interested.

Well never say never folks. It was the recruiting company and it wasn't really a choice. I'm not sure how I got mixed up in their temporary files but if it means that they think of me when something real comes along, I'm glad that I did it. But yeah, they basically called me with an address, a name of someone to report to and the hours that I would be there. I had to cancel plans that I had already made (Anna, Gloria, I'm sorry. Seeing you doesn't make me money though does it?) because there really was no choice in the matter.

It was just a reception thing. For the quietest office ever. The people were pleasant, but no one really stopped to chat did they? What's the point? I'm there for a day. Even though I'm lovely and wonderful (and the old men especially realized this) I will be gone tomorrow.

There was a measure of comfort in the fact that nothing's really changed since I've been in an office. Oh I know, its only been 3 months (ish). But when you do nothing with your days, 3 months feels like a year. Christmas parties are still being planned, HR people are still letting you know about the availability of taxi vouchers and Secret Santa still happens. Except that in my old office we did Secret Santa for ourselves, going with that whole theme they had their of being selfish a$$holes. In the office that I was in yesterday the HR lady went around with different kinds of toys the Christmas Bureau wanted so that the staff could go out and fulfill the wishes of some poor kid on Christmas morning. That's how you do Secret Santa people.

The office yesterday was down the street from where I used to work, so one thing I was looking forward to was some international food court lasagna. Anna, Gloria- you know what I mean! Well I got there at 1 and there was one more piece of the greatest lasagna in the world left. So I asked her for it, only to be told that it belonged to the guy in front of me. Lasagna Lady, your lasagna is amazing, you need to make more! She always does this, she always runs out. So then I asked for fusili (easy to eat with plastic cutlery and while reading) but she doesn't have that either. End up with spaghetti. Which is great, but it was messy with a plastic soon and fork.

So that's what I did yesterday. And it looks like yesterday was the right day to go downtown because today, the snow that they said was over, is coming down and covering everything. I really wanted to go to the library today so we will see.

If you're American, Happy Thanksgiving. If you're a teacher in the Lower Mainland, happy snow day! And for the rest of you, tomorrow is Friday. You can do it!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Jealous Of A 14 Year Old

You know, I have to say, I definitely thought that I would have another job by now. I definitely envisioned some time in between jobs, but not this much.

My 14 year old sister and I are currently in the same boat. I know, at 25, I didn't really think that I would have anything in common with a 14 year old either, but I also didn't think that I would be unemployed into November, so you know, nothing surprises me anymore.

So my sister. I feel like she should have a name...Oddball. Don't be offended. She's not awkward or anything and the nickname has far less to do with any characteristic of hers and more just something I started calling her when she was little and...well here we are. Now she's famous.

Anyway. Oddball and I are both currently at a crossroads. My crossroads involve my previous employer treating me like sh*t before finally losing my job and the future when I will hopefully have a job that I enjoy and be embarking on the beginning of a career or some sorts. Oddball's crossroads involve dreams of going abroad to be an au pair and live a glamourous life for her future writing career and fighting my mom to please let her get a job now.

Yeah, you read that right. My 14 year old sister is begging my mom to let her work.

The funny thing is, my mom totally gave me permission to work when I was 12. It was a real store and everything. But now, 13 years later (Lord I'm old in this context) she won't do the same for Oddball. And Oddball wants to work badly. So badly that she has enlisted my help to convince Mom that she should be allowed to work.

And I am doing my damnedest! I totally think she is old enough, and responsible enough, to go work at a movie theatre or a book store.

What do you think? Is 14 too young to get a job? The legal working age here is 15.

Aren't you jealous though? I mean she's 14, she literally has her whole life in front of her and she knows it! She knows that she can do anything she wants to, that she has endless possibilities for her future. The au pair thing is less something she wants to do and more something that she is going to do.

Meanwhile I spend my days in a half-a$$ed spare bedroom praying I find work before Christmas so that I can participate in the season instead of leering at people filled with joy from the sidelines. Drunk.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Abandonment Issues?

Since I was away all last week I'm sure that you are expecting me to come back here with some awesome stories of all the awesome things that I did instead of blogging for you.

But you would have really high expectations and unfortunately I don't seem to be in the business of fulfilling expectations these days. I just spent a lot of time running around last week, getting up at the completely unreasonable hour of 9am to spend days outside of my apartment, getting things done. Such a glamourous life no?

Alright fine, here are the highlights of my week spent neglecting you.

1. I learned how to turn on the pilot light in our fireplace. I'm pretty sure that this was something that The Boyfriend already knew how to do but he was at physio when the gas man came to the door to turn it on (I suspect that it was already on but what do I know?) and he asked me if I wanted to know how to turn it off and on so that I could save $8 a month in the summer (I think he thought I lived alone) and hey, I'm not exactly in a position to be spending money willy nilly now am I?

2. I thought that I would try to jumpstart my interview energy by going out and buying some more professional looking interview wear. Turns out that its impossible to find a blazer if you have big boobs. What a shock. Instead of jumpstarting my interview energy I spent a frazzled Saturday surrounded by early holiday shoppers and teenagers, thisclose to having a meltdown. In the end I semi-won. I walked away with a new blazer but we all know that I settled in order to have something

3. I read some more books and developed a sympathy for Eva Braun. I read a biography about her (The Lost Life of Eva Braun by Angela Lambert) and it turns out she wasn't a heinous b*tch despite her terrible taste in men. I even cried when I read the part where she died. I'm not sure what this says about me actually. I mean I always assumed that Eva Braun was a terrible person (I mean come on! Hitler?!) but it turns out she could have been any 17 year old girl that fell for a guy with a lot of power. Anyway if you get the chance, read the book. It was fantastic.

4. I woke up early on Thursday so that my friend could make me breakfast. We were going to go out for breakfast but then she wisely decided that it would be cheaper if she made it for me and like I said before, I'm not in any position to be turning down cheaper options. So while you were in your office listening to your idiot of a boss tell you what to do, I was eating homemade waffles with fresh strawberries and whipped cream, chatting with a very good friend in her spacious new home. 

5. I almost feel like this shouldn't be a highlight because the dinner was to say good bye to a very good friend that has decided employment in Calgary is better than unemployment surrounded by people like me, but dinner to say good bye to my friend who is moving to Calgary was pretty fun. Even though it was cut a little short by the falling show (I live on a mountain, if its snowing below the mountain I can expect blizzard conditions at home) (also I'm a Vancouverite. Wet white stuff falling from the sky is reason to panic) it was a very enjoyable evening. Aside from the snow, the Greek food (just not a fan) and the falling down. Oh yeah, turns out that falling slush creates slippery conditions on the road and one is liable to fall when walking if extra caution is not exercised. S'ok though, I now have wicked bruises on both my shins to remember the occasion.

Bonus highlight: When I got back from the above mentioned good bye dinner it was snowing really hard at home and it was so pretty that The Boyfriend and I went on a late night walk in the snow. It was kind of awesome. 

Now you're caught up on what I did. What did you do?

Friday, November 12, 2010

So This One Time... band camp...

Sorry I couldn't resist. Its not going anywhere. Although if you keep reading there may or may not be a story for you. I can't vouch for its being funny (although later I sell it as being funny) but it has a beginning, middle and end and is therefore a real life story.

I finished all the books I got from the library last night. Turns out none of them was a very challenging read. However this did help me punch out books #56-60 for books that I've read this year. Which made me feel good. But now I need to go back to the library.

Who am I kidding? This is excellent news.

I thought maybe I could convince The Boyfriend that since I have been so good all week perhaps I should get a little treat from Costco when he drags me there this afternoon but its a no-go. I guess that's fair. You know, since I'm bringing in exactly no income.

Funny story. At the end of the summer The Boyfriend's parents came to stay with us. It was the first time they had seen our new place (they were impressed because its awesome) and the left some champagne behind for us to celebrate. At this point I felt like we were in our place long enough that the champagne could be used to celebrate when I got a new job. I was all optimistic that this would take no time at all because let's face it, I'm qualified to nothing specific and anything general.

I'd probably have a job by now too if I wasn't so damn picky.

But I digress. Last weekend, when going through the contents of the fridge to find something suitable to drink before a hockey game (at which I failed because there were only half drunk bottles of wine), I tell The Boyfriend that a stop at the liquor store will be in order because we have nothing to drink (seriously, this is unusual for us) and he says "why don't you just drink that champagne?"

Obviously he does not care to save champagne for celebrations. But I tell him that I don't want to use it because I'm saving it for when I get a job.

To which he replies, completely deadpan "you know that it has an expiry don't you?"

Nice guy right?

No it was hilarious. I laughed hard and long. You have to. You'd go insane otherwise. Because let me tell you, unemployment? Its tough. All of a sudden things that were in perfect working order when you were both earning money, decide to crap out on you (the TV and the car come to mind) bringing with them, visions of very expensive fixes.

Also the holidays are coming. Quicker than I would like. I haven't completely despaired of finding work before Jolly Old St. Nick comes to town, but with every passing day...well the chances become less. We'll survive but I'm going to have to tell the families that this year, only the children get gifts.

Do you hear me family?? Only the children!

Yeah I will probably have to tell them in person. Lame.

I'm going to conclude here. A wonderful post right?

Ah whatever, its Friday. Go enjoy it.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Crazy Dutch People

You know how when you have a job you leave the house every day and go to your place of business and give no thought whatsoever to what is going on at your house, aside from maybe some panic-inducing moments of "did I leave the stove on?" (I would never leave the stove on being unaccustomed to using it in the first place)

Well I don't leave my house every day. Which means that I have ample time to observe the idiots that stick around here each and every day.

Some might say I have voyeuristic tendencies. I would just like to go on record as saying, I'm Dutch and this is what we do. And let's just be clear here, its not about the people inside the homes, its about the furniture and the possessions. I'm not making this up. Have you ever heard of the book The UnDutchables? Its about all the crazy stuff that Dutch people do and are afflicted by. On page 41 in the section A Dutch Home: ...It is customary to leave the front-room curtains open day and night so everyone can look in and admire the possessions.

Yeah I have that book. Its really funny and explains a lot about myself.

ANYWAY. I'm here all day and even though I'm not exactly sitting at the window with a telescope or a set of binoculars, writing down everything I see, some things are worth mentioning.

The Gardeners. I live in an apartment building, about 6 years old with a very well run strata. One of the things that we noticed when we were looking at buying a unit here was that the strata fees seemed to differentiate quite a bit depending on the unit. Square footage was one reason, garden space was another. If you have garden space (we don't) you pay a lot more money to the strata. Apparently you can't do your own gardening. Its November now and definitely there are a lot of leaves blowing around and I guess this is the perfect time for planting bulbs for the Spring. But do the gardeners really need to be here every day? Trimming trees, blowing leaves, edging stuff? Every day? Sure, they do a fine job, everything looks very nice, but they make noise, they are in the way and every day seems like overkill. Maybe I'm just jealous that they seem to be gainfully employed with no shortage of work.

The Dog Walkers. Let's face it, I want a dog. We had houseguests last week (was it seriously only last week?) and they brought their puppy and I delighted in taking her outside for walks a few times a day. Some people (me) are just made to have dogs. Some people are made for cats. Yet these people still insist on getting dogs. There's one guy, a huge jacked up gorilla (thanks Snooki), who has a tiny little min-pin that he dresses up. Oh yeah, sometimes its a little argyle sweater, sometimes a vest, sometimes sparkly things. So wrong. Then there are the folks that don't feel like they need to pick up after their dogs. Sure, just leave it right there on the path with no lights. I'm sure no one will step in that when they walk here tonight. Just now in the courtyard a couple was "walking" their little dog (read carrying the dog to the middle to pee before they went back inside) who jumped out of their arms, sans leash, and narrowly avoided being hit by a car (who was speeding naturally).

The Up-And-Down-Stairs Neighbours. I'll admit that in our last apartment we were spoiled with our neighbours. They were a really nice couple with a daughter, who always stopped and said hey whenever we ran into them, held elevators, even looked out for our place when we would leave it. We did the same for them. They were awesome. We never heard anything from the apartments below or above us. We assumed it was because the apartments were so silent. Turns out it was because we had quiet neighbours. Now we don't. The woman below us enjoys sitting out on her balcony, smoking (which isn't allowed) while she's on the phone. She's so loud when she does this it sounds like she's in our living room. When she's not catching up with her friends via phone she invites 30 of them over to laugh and talk and scream on Sunday mornings. And when she prepares for visitors she cranks the base so that our apartment vibrates and cleans. I think the Upstairs neighbours have a large dog. Or a herd of buffalos. Maybe a gymnastics school. Something that causes them to make all manner of loud, banging noises on their floor. Sometimes there is running back and forth, that literally makes our apartment shake. I have no idea what they are doing. But it's loud. Oh and it takes them hours to vacuum. In the middle of the night.

I want to go back to an office!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Book Loot

I finally went to the library yesterday. This was the one thing that I told myself that I would start doing while I was unemployed to save money but it proved to be a lot harder to wean myself off of the bookstore.

And to be honest while I was at the library, I thought to myself a few times things like Oh man some of these books I really wish I could buy or The selection is better at the bookstore.

The second thought isn't so much true as that the selection at the bookstore is different. I mean the library as layers of books collected on its shelves, some more recent than others, some more widely-read than others but the selection is varied. I think maybe I'm just so used to the way that bookstores are laid out (brightly lit, buzzing with the sound of hushed conversation, books the publishers choose facing cover out, titles highlighted as must read, best sellers etc) that my immediate reaction in the library was to go to the bookstore.

But it was shortlived and before I knew it I was coming across too many books to take home. I had to be kind of selective. I'm going to try to read 75 books by the end of the year. I'm currently at 58. But we only have what? Seven weeks left of the year? I can't be squandering the time trying to finish the Hitler biography (as badly as I want to finish that sucker).

Here's what I came away with:

Losing Mum and Pup by Christopher Buckley. The story of how the author, his parents' only child, lost both his parents within a year. His parents were kind of a big deal and he had a good relationship with them and the last year was a tough one. But Christopher Buckley manages to write about them with humour, remembering their time together fondly. This is the book that I read yesterday. I laughed throughout the book- his parents were...well they were awesome. Of course by the end of it I was also in tears. But thats just the way it works with fantastic books.

Me: Stories of My Life by Katharine Hepburn. I love movie star biographies and I'm not sure that it gets better than when they write their own. I've read about Ava Gardner, Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn etc but I have always shied away from Katharine Hepburn biographies. Now I know why. I was waiting to find the one that she wrote herself. Katharine Hepburn telling you how it really was? Please. You can't resist that either.

The Quest for Anastasia: Solving the Mystery of the Lost Romanovs by John Klier. I think I was about 10 when I first heard about the assassination of the Tsar and his family and have been fascinated by them ever since. But usually I come across the story as a footnote to bigger things happening around them. The closest I came to reading the whole story was in Five Granddaughters about the 5 granddaughters of Queen Victoria who each became a Queen. Tsarina Alexandra was one of them. But here again, the actual assassination was mentioned in passing, how it affected the other cousins. I figure this book will be an excellent way to find out what really happened.

Spellbound by Jane Green. Oh come on, at least one of the books had to be an easy read. I'm expanding my mind with my other choices, with this last one, I needed something light, something to pad the reading numbers. I always come across Jane Green's books in the bookstore and I have just never taken the plunge, even though I suspect I will really enjoy them. If I'm right, the library has a bunch of her other titles for me to motor through. Oh right, the plot. Married woman, unhappy with her fabulous life, moves to The States into the house of a famous romance novelist, things get better or do they? Like I said, something to pad the stats. But I'm not-so-secretly looking forward to it!

What are you reading?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Extra Time For...Hitler??

Fall Back! Who doesn't love a good Fall Back?!?!

Fall Back is the single greatest thing to happen to our civilization since the wheel. Shows you how much I value my time to sleep doesn't it?

So the clocks went back an hour Saturday night- BAM! I get more sleep immediately. I wake up Sunday an hour "earlier" feeling rested AND productive (even though I promptly squandered the time by parking my butt on the couch watching TV and movies all day. Oh and reading. Food for the mind you know?).

Same thing this morning. I haven't been so stoked on Fall Back since...last year. But if you will recall, last year it wasn't all sunshine and roses owing to the fact that I still worked in a sh*thole with no hope of ever getting out. Fast forward a year and I'm unemployed, doing nothing with my life currently, but oh so much happier.

Man I love me some Fall Back. Especially this year since the Fall Back high I experienced on Sunday last year (and this year) is still with me on Monday morning. I feel like this is such a momentous occasion that I need to commemorate it with some kind of photo collage.

But I won't because I'm lazy and a photo collage sounds like a lot of work.

And now we have come to the controversial part of the blog today. Before we begin I would just like to say that the following is meant in jest and hope that we can all have a chuckle together at the f*cked up things my mind comes up with. Yes? If not, perhaps you should just skip to the end and leave me a comment that I can read later.

I've been working on reading Ian Kershaw's Hitler biography for over a year now. I agree, that does have to be some kind of a record. But have you ever seen the book in person? Its a mammoth sized book. It weighs a ton so its not exactly bus reading material you know (its over 1000 pages and it says HITLER on the spine. Taking it on the bus would be uncomfortable for so many reasons)?

Anyway, I'm making real progress. I've finally got to 1944 and have about 300 pages left. So at this point things are not going well for the Third Reich. They are losing left right and centre, the British are bombing the hell out of them, Hitler is working all the time, the people have lost confidence in him and he's falling apart.

Ian Kershaw is going on about how Hitler is working 24/7, how he is stressed all the time and starting to get really haggard looking. And I could relate. Before Hitler was a dictator he was a lazy artist. Well he pretended to be an artist. He lounged around Vienna, around great people and tried to do the least amount of work with the most amount of benefit to himself. In 1944, he has to work around the clock and he's sucking and he hates it.

I'm not saying I'm a lazy artist or that I ever worked 24/7 but let me tell you, when you hate your job, it starts to take a physical toll on you. You look beaten down, exhausted and old all the time, just like Hitler did. You're irritated with the people around you and you take it out on you. Are you seeing the clumsy parallel I'm drawing here? I mean its not like my job required me to find creative ways of killing people (did you know that Hitler liked to use the guillotine? More people died by guillotine during WWII than did during the French Revolution!) but it definitely didn't do anything good for the world.

Now let's be clear here- I'm not saying I sympathize with Herr Hitler. He kind of brought it on himself by insisting on doing everything himself, despite having no idea what he was doing. But I get the feeling.

So that's that. We went from Housewives on Thursday to Hitler on a Monday. Backwards progress perhaps. But its OK. I have all the time in the world today.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Full Time A$$hole

Do you tell people that you're unemployed or that you're a full time a$$hole?

This is what The Boyfriend said to me the other night. And before you get up in arms, know that a) he was joking (duh) and b) that it made me laugh really hard. Mostly I tell people I'm unemployed but maybe I should change tactics. I am kind of making a career out of being an a$$hole.

So you may have noticed that I have been neglecting you all week. See above.

No, no, we had some houseguests and so I didn't have that much free time to come on here and complain about being unemployed. I was thinking about blog worthy posting all week though.

And now that I finally have the chance to sit here and blog...I can't remember a single one.

So I fear that today will be another collection of thoughts that pop into my head as I go. Can't be helped. I need to start writing these great posting topics down. Or stop lying about having great ideas for posting. One or the other.

I was just reading (as I do most mornings in order to wake up before the hard core job searching begins) and there was an article entitled Emma Bunton Expecting Second Child and I had to click on it to find out who it was because my first thought was "who the f*ck is Emma Bunton?" I feel like I need to turn in my Spice Girls Fan card. I mean they were only one of the most important parts of my tweens. They were only the greatest group ever. And what? I forget their names? What an a$$hole.

We got the Back to the Future trilogy on blu-ray the other day and finally watched it this week. You guys? Its life changing. I can't even describe to you the quality of the movies- its like it was filmed yesterday. And its so much more fun to watch the second one, going forward into 2015, now because its only 5 years away. Hilarious. And actually, Robert Zemeckis wasn't that far off. Have you guys seen this article? Also, there are a bunch of extras on the discs, including an interview with this physicist who says that actually time travel is possible and Back to the Future actually got the theory more or less right!

I've developed a shameful new addiction. Its so much worse than Days of Our Lives (which I don't really watch anymore). The Boyfriend is appalled at my lack of good television viewing taste. It started out innocently enough as a morning of theres-nothing-good-on-TV-itis. I thought I would just tune in and mock the show. I didn't think that I would become addicted. I'm talking about the Real Housewives franchise. Not just one series either. I'm currently watching D.C, New Jersey and Atlanta. I really want to see Beverly Hills (Paris Hilton's aunts are on it) but I think if I start recording anymore on the PVR The Boyfriend will have a stroke.

My very good friend Megara is leaving me. The jobs situation is so dire here in BC that she is going to Calgary. Obviously we're (I'm including you in this Record) happy for her that she found something, Lord knows its not easy. But we're very sad that she found something in Calgary. She'll be far away and I have no money to go visit (even though I currently have all the time in the world) and also Calgary isn't a place thats high on my list to visit anyway. Especially with winter coming quickly. Hello Canada? I live in Vancouver? I don't do winter. But like I said, congratulations to her for finding something related to what she ultimately wants to do!

That said, The Record and I are going to have to band together and really solidify our friendship if we are going to survive Megara's departure. First step? She invited me to go to the Canucks game with her on Saturday. We're best friends already.

Alright kidlets, I got Real Housewives calling...I mean I have job searching to do. This job searching kick is really getting in the way of my more leisurely habits.

Friday, October 29, 2010

In Which I Tell You What To Do

You guys? I know that I literally just posted, but then I went to check in with my idol (and yours by now I should think) Jen Lancaster and realized that this post was way too good not to share with the masses. Or, you know, the 40 people that read this. And my mom.

Anyway, I hope you go and check it out today because its totally worth it.

This post is one of the reasons why I luuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuurve Jen Lancaster.

Why are you still here? Go read it now!

Ghetto Friday Morning

We didn't get around to the cleaning yesterday. So we spent the better part of the morning doing that today. One part of my morning was particularly ghetto and I wanted to share it with you now.

I have been making a conscientious effort in most things to not spend money unnecessarily. You know, since I'm not earning any right now, strictly speaking. Since there is no money coming in on my end, I have to be tightening the proverbial belt.

So there is the self imposed book ban (that is going well for the most part but that has failed a couple of times), the shopping ban (unless it is something needed for the eventual return to work--but you guys? I looked at the bag of pants I bought when I first got laid off and I swear there is a thin layer of dust on it from non-use. Tragic), the ban on going out (you don't need to go out to drink. Its cheaper in your own home, and less douche-inflicting) etc. I realize that all of these bans have explanatory notes attached but please don't take that to mean that I'm not making a serious effort.

I am.

One of the ways we're saving money is by not buying shampoo and conditioner.

You're thinking gross. And if I were no longer washing my hair at all, going for dreads, I would agree with you. But I said we're not buying shampoo and conditioner, not that we're not using them anymore. I have 2 boxes of sample shampoo and conditioners, donated to my cause by the hair fairy. Rather than use a new little bottle every few days, I spent a good 15 minutes this morning transferring the contents of the little bottles into my existing shampoo bottles.

No lie.

As I was doing it I thought to myself "I have got to get a job soon". Although, why waste all that free shampoo and conditioner?? Its still nice not to have to buy it. And don't worry Record, all the bottles were recycled. The Boyfriend tried to throw them away, something about them being soapy, but I told him I would tell you that he threw them away and into the recycling they went.

Happy Friday office workers. And a Happy Halloween as well! I'm going Trick-or-Treating! Jealous? You should be.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

To Do List

Yesterday VEG introduced me and all her lovely readers to this link and I don't mind telling you that it inspired me to create my very own unemployed list of things to do. Who doesn't love a good To Do list?

Let me rephrase that. Who doesn't love a To Do list filled with things you have already done that you can cross off your To Do list so that you feel productive?


So here is my list of things to do today, Job Snob version 1.0.

1. Wake up.

2. Check email for job offers and/or encouraging family emails.

3. Check job websites for jobs

4. Feel bad about not checking for jobs this morning.

5. Attribute lack of job searching ambition to poor sleep last night.

6. Do groceries.

7. Do laundry.

8. Admit that you did the laundry yesterday so it can't count towards your Things I Did Today list

9. Go to the gym.

10. Feel bad about not going to the gym.

Look at that! There were 10 things on my list and I did 7 of them. I'm amazing. I don't know how I did everything that I needed to get done back when I had a job. There aren't enough hours in the day. Bonus points for also blogging. Super bonus points for blogging and cleaning the apartment simultaneously. And by cleaning simultaneously I mean letting The Boyfriend get started without me. Its really a one person job anyway.

Its not?

Fine. I'll go help. Maybe after that I will look for work.

But maybe I will get ready for Book Club tonight instead.

Like I said, there just aren't enough hours in the day!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Revenge of the Baked Goods

Instead of job searching, yesterday was much more about f*cking around. Don't get all up in arms, Record, I applied for a job this morning. Every once in a while I just need a break from the depressing reality that I don't have a job and what better way to do that than youtube?

It started innocently enough. I just wanted to get that clip of Gordon Pinsent reading Bieber's autobiography for you (really? a 16 year old needs to write an autobiography? really?) and one of the related clips was this:

Don't pretend like you don't like it. Its adorable. She's adorable. The song will get stuck in your head and it will be annoying but she's adorable. I especially like the tiny little baby dancing.

Now I'm not kidding when I say that this came up as a related video to Gordon Pinsent. I didn't go looking for this on my own. But I'm glad it was a part of my yesterday.

OK. Now onto the fact that I almost died yesterday while The Boyfriend alphabetized his DVDs.

So after messing around on the Internets getting nothing done in the way of job searching, apparently it was time to go to the mall because The Boyfriend needed some kind of cable for the TV. I'm not sure why I agreed to go. There was nothing in it for me. Remember when you were a kid and you were too young to stay at home by yourself but your parents had to go out to run impossibly boring errands and you ended up fighting with your brother in the store and getting grounded when you got home?

Yeah, thats what it was like yesterday. There was no point in my going yet I found myself traipsing around the Sony store and Best Buy like it was my idea to go.

Anyway, when we got home I rewarded myself with a slice of cake (yup, I made more baked goods for no reason. This is starting to become a problem). I must have inhaled wrong or chuckled at something because next thing I know cake crumbs are making their way to my lungs and I'm full on choking to death. I can't breathe, I'm coughing, tears are streaming down my face and The Boyfriend? Is busy doing something.

I gasp for water, please get me some water.

He turns and evaluates me, decides I'm fine and goes back to his "job". Meanwhile I'm still choking.

After about a minute of this I think the noise gets to him (how annoying can your girlfriend be, choking in the background while you are trying to get sh*t done?!) and he gets me a glass of water . I'm pretty sure it saved my life. My throat has been kind of raw ever since, you know from all the choking and wretching and coughing, but at least I lived to tell the tale.

I need to go back to work. Do you know someone that will hire me?

That or I need to stop baking.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sharing Is Caring

Today is not so much about the job searching (on my blog anyway, in real life, its always about the job searching) but more just a couple of things that I wish to share with you.

First up, some sad news or some awesome news depending on your view of the whole thing. Remember back in the summer when the Dutch lost the world cup and my cousin wanted to make calamari? Well she can save herself some airfare because the little bastard died last night. Oh what? I'm supposed to be bummed that an octopus died? Please. A) he's an octopus, a creature I'm not terribly fond of to begin with and B) he predicted the demise of my team. I don't know what kind of crazy octopus voodoo he was using but at a time when my people needed all the positive energy, Paul the Octopus predicted the worst. So rest in peace Paul, but I for one am glad that I don't need to listen to your 'predictions' next time around.

Now the other thing that I wanted to share with you involves 2 famous Canadians. The thing about being a famous Canadian (do you like how I wrote that like I am one?) is that even if you're an idiot, we will still claim you as one of our own. I hope you enjoy this clip. I'm off to search for employment.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Spooky Little Girl

Over the summer, my idol Jen Lancaster recommended some reading material. I read through them, wrote some down on my list and more or less forgot about them. 

When the TV broke The Boyfriend decided that it was a dire enough situation that my reading materials were just not going to cut it. He needed reinforcements. Since there is no way you can convince me to go to the mall on a province-wide professional day (where do a-hole teens go when they have a day off? Exactly) he thought it would be a good idea to bribe me. A book on him if I agreed to battle tomorrow's leader's with him.

I can never turn down the promise of a book.

I was on a budget though. So no fancy new hardcovers (and there are quite a few that I have my eye on!). I wandered aimlessly for a while. I picked up The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte but that was only $5, it doesn't count. Nothing struck my fancy. Nothing. And that's weird. In a bookstore. But I was limited by budget remember? There was an awesome 'authorized' biography of Roald Dahl (he basically shaped my childhood) but it was hardcover. There was a history of the world since 1945, but it wasn't cheap (probably because it was ginourmous). 

Finally I pulled out my list of books that I want to read. Yes, I do always carry it with me. Along with a list of all the books that I have read this year (we're at 55 as of last night).

I settled on Spooky Little Girl by Laurie Notaro. I would love to insert a cover picture here for you all but you will just have to take my word for it that its awesome. 

Its been a while since I read a book that I could not put down. Its a quick read, less than 300 pages. But its so fantastic. Basically this girl has the worst 2 days of her life back to back- I'm talking life shattering. So she decides to move away to her sister's place with her dog and start again. Except then she dies and finds herself in ghost school learning how to haunt before she will be given her assignment. Turns out she can't get to 'Heaven' until she does some extra credit because she was kind of a C+ human being. And her assignment?? I can't tell you that but its good. So good. 

I'm going to go on record now as saying that I think this would be a fabulous movie. And you should read it. I literally had to keep reading until I finished it last night and then I couldn't fall asleep because I was still thinking about it. I'm still thinking about it! Enough that I'm writing about it on a Sunday!

I wish I were still reading it.

Anyway, now I'm a fan of Laurie Notaro. And I think you should get your a$$ to a bookstore and pick this book up because I know you will just love it too.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Ray of Hope

The other night I had dinner with a friend who loves her job.

I feel this is worth mentioning because for the most part I only have friends that are really not that fond of their jobs. The Record started a new job at the beginning of the year and quickly realized that her boss had his head up his a$$ and that her responsibilities were a lot more than she ever realized. Her paycheque though, obviously, stayed the same. Anna and Gloria hated their jobs right along with me and Gloria's new job is not exactly thrilling her.

Basically for a really long time I have been surrounded with like minded people. The kinds of people that are bored with their jobs, hate their bosses, and dream of something else.

But not my friend from the other night. No no. She loves her job. She's a grade 3 teacher in case you all were wondering. It was a long road to get here, she was working several different jobs, never had a weekend to call her own, sometimes wasn't even really making any money and still she kept going because she knew exactly what she wanted to do. And then when she was finished all her required teacher schooling, against all odds, she actually landed a full time job as a teacher (that's almost impossible to do here).

Obviously I am jealous. But honestly she so deserves this job satisfaction after how hard she worked to get it. Mostly it was just reassuring to know that it is possible to love your job. After my previous employment fiasco I had kind of forgotten that it was even possible. The people that I worked with never meant to get into the industry, started off the same way that I did, as a means to an end. And before they knew it, a couple of promotions and 15 years had passed. Game over. You know?

I'm glad that didn't happen to me, but will I ever be lucky enough to have a job that I love? Its definitely possible which is good to know. Honestly I'm pragmatic enough to know that I won't love every single aspect of my job. But I would be so thrilled if I could say that I enjoyed my job, enjoyed getting up to go there in the morning and didn't want to slice my wrists on Sunday night knowing that Monday morning was a short sleep away.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Electronic Meltdown

I currently have a very grumpy Boyfriend on my hands.

The TV is breaking in front of his very eyes. His TV, his best friend, the one he watches all important games with, the one that will keep his insomnia company, is failing.

The TV, along with pretty much everything on his car. When you turn right you can hear things scraping, its not good. Obviously the tires still need to be replaced, the gas gauge is broken so we count kilometers to our next fill up and living on top of a mountain, the breaks wear out pretty quickly too.

None of these things seemed to break while we were both gainfully employed. But now that we rely on the one paycheque for everything, well The Universe, or some other rather more sinister source, has decided to have a little fun (for them) with us.

I would say that The Boyfriend has been looking at buying a new TV since we met. Or thereabouts. He's a tech guy, very savvy in that department, but also always looking at the next best thing. If you're having problems with your tech gadgets, or you're in the market for a new TV or some such television enhancing machine, he's totally your guy. He will speak to you in a language you didn't even know existed, unless you are also one of these people in which case you are kindred spirits. Every once in a while he will go online and just look at all the new TVs that have come out just so that he can want the most up-to-date version of the one he wants. If we're in a mall and walk anywhere near a Future Shop or Best Buy, we go in just to ogle the TVs.

So you can imagine how it hurts him to consider that this TV, which has been through so much with him, which he teasingly refers to as being 'ancient' is possibly at the end of its lifespan. Even more devastating is the fact that should that day come sooner than we ever could have expected, right now we aren't even close to being in a position to replace it.

Right now the only solution is to carry the wounded to a place that will hopefully be able to fix it. We'd make them come to us but that would cost us an extra $100 where this way it will only cost us $40 and that money will go towards the repair. Please Universe, let it be an easy cheap fix.

In the meantime, The Boyfriend's quiet devastation has forced me to do something I don't always do-job search in the afternoon. And Universe, if you're listening, can you please send me a friggin' bone here? An interview perhaps? That would be great. If not for me, then for my-ever-patient-quietly-suffering-possibly-soon-TV-less boyfriend.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Volunteer Position

For the first time since I lost my job I was up before the sun.

I went back to my morning ritual of having my breakfast in the company of the folks at the Today show. I left my apartment at 7.23 on the dot to take my place among the thousands on their way to work.

Except that while I passed commuters waiting for their buses, I was just on my way to help out my parents by driving my brother and sisters to school.

I know, I'm an awesome daughter. Due to some unforeseen car troubles, it looks like I will be something of a bus driver for the next few days. That's a job right? Think I can pad my resume with that? A volunteer position perhaps?

Probably not.

On a glorious morning like today, it wouldn't have been such a hardship to get up and head to work (I'm so not a morning person). But I haven't completely lost my marbles- I well remember the mornings fighting with my umbrella in gale force winds while passing buses spray road water in my path.

So to the smug employed commuters I say: bad weather is a comin'! I'll wave to you from my warm, dry car as my siblings do their best impression of well behaved kids.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, October 15, 2010


Here we are at another non-Friday Friday. The end of the week just doesn't hold the same sparkle for me anymore. Its kind of a shame. What to look forward to if not the weekend?

I have been accused of having too much time on my hands. Why? Because I made a radically delicious, perfectly moist banana bread. From scratch. All by myself. Sure there's way too much of it for me to eat alone and The Boyfriend is a proclaimed banana bread hater so there wasn't much point in making it (except that otherwise the bananas would have gone to waste). Its not really a party food either so its not like it will hold over until the housewarming party tomorrow.

But its so delicious. Honestly after force feeding The Boyfriend a piece and being sure that he really doesn't like banana bread (even with chocolate chips in it) I will probably just drop it off at my parents' later today. I'm sure that they will enjoy it. Someone at the house will enjoy it.

So where was I? Too much time on my hands.

Obviously I have too much time on my hands! That's really all that I have going for me right now. If I don't even have the chance to look forward to a Friday, the silver lining to any existence, then clearly I don't have that much going on.

Unless these are comments that you are making in an effort to lead up to something like "but don't worry I have the perfect job for you" and it actually is the perfect job, you probably don't need to tell me that I have too much time on my hands. If you're not here to solve the problem, you can probably save your hilarious commentary.

Aside from the banana bread, and job searching, I think that I have read 4 books this week. Anna, remind me to give you Little Daughter back tomorrow- it was great. For those of you wondering if you should buy Philippa Gregory's The Red Queen, you should probably save yourself the cash and go to the library. I'm not sure what happened to Philippa, but its nothing good.

I apologize for the repeated MIAs but when I have nothing to do, I have nothing to share.

Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Long Weekend Letdown

Yesterday was a holiday- Canadian Thanksgiving for me, Columbus Day for you (if you hail from south of the border. If you are from neither of these places then I guess yesterday was just a regular Monday).

On Friday I was scrolling through Facebook status' (but not participating because I had nothing earth shattering to say) and everyone was on board the long weekend train. There was excitement about the fact that the workweek was done, that drinks were waiting, that the Canucks home opener was happening, and that there was turkey involved at some point during the weekend (unless I was reading international status' and then it was either long weekend or just regular weekend but weekend was definitely the theme).

So here's the thing: being funemployed? Long weekends just don't hold the same joie de vivre that they did back when they meant an extended reprieve from my sh*thole job. My 'long' weekend was pretty much the same as every other day/weekend in my current state of hobo-ness. Except that instead of going about my own business there was family Thanksgiving business to attend to and my mother to disappoint (went to The Boyfriend's sister's place for the big meal).

I spent yesterday, the long part of the weekend, in my pyjamas (which I got back into after I went to the gym) reading We Need To Talk About Kevin. Which is a horribly depressing book, but I should have known that since my friend that only reads horribly depressing books recommended it to me. I probably would have done that on a Monday anyway. Except that yesterday I allowed myself to play hooky from the job search which is about the only thing that sort of seems like work to me these days.

I guess in that way today is just like your Tuesday- long weekend hangover but looking forward to the shortness of the week. Even more so for me because we're finally having our housewarming party. First we thought to wait until we were unpacked, then we thought to wait until I had a new job because we would have 2 things to celebrate. But when it became apparent that this process would take a smidge longer than either of us suspected, we decided that we needed a reason to get blind drunk (one that doesn't involve just the 2 of us in the middle of the day) because not having a job can get kind of depressing.

Who knew not having a job could be as depressing as working where I used to work?

No I take that back, it for sure has its moments but it all comes down to not having a paycheque right now. The rest? Is 1000 times better than the last 2 and a half years in that place. Even if I don't get excited about long weekends for the moment. Here's hoping things are different at Christmas. Remembrance Day even!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Elvish Work

I just saw a job posting asking for Christmas elves.

I actually know someone that works for the company looking for these elves. Its a pretty bad day if I'm considering applying for a job that forces me to dress like an elf and interact with people's snot-covered children.

Here's the rub: even the lowest elf makes more money an hour than I used to in my Cubicle hell. Is it to make up for the embarrassment? Because they value the contribution the elves make?

I could totally be an elf. In fact I was an elf in my kindergarten Christmas play. Totally rocked it too. See? I already have previous experience.

The fact that they are hiring elves is not a good sign. It means that Christmas is coming--at least according to the people that make mall Christmas happen. And if mall Christmas is just around the corner (elf start dates of November 12th) then real Christmas is really coming.

I have no money for real Christmas. This makes me sad. Perhaps some token gifts for the children (brother and sisters, godchildren etc) but no one else. I'm practically destitute over here. At least there is a lot of alcohol at Christmas. That's always a good thing.

I was watching TV yesterday and I realized something. You know when you're sick and you're forced to watch daytime television? And they have all those ads for jobs training? University of Phoenix, dental or medical assistant programs, office management courses, IT training? You dismiss them right? Because you are already gainfully employed and you don't need them.

Well I'm not gainfully anything.

I found myself wishing there was one that I could take to get a job. Six months of training? Financial aid? Yes please! Those people (not actors) are so happy in their new careers! How could I not want to do that?

Oh that's right. I have a degree. A degree! I've worked in offices. And still. Still! No one will interview me. Maybe if I had jobs training through Sprott Shaw Community College (since 1903) (its a local thing I think) then maybe I would be taken seriously?

Why did I go to university again?

Its a long weekend yes? Canadian turkey day. Which means I can rationalize not thinking about any of this again until Tuesday.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

I Don't Normally Do This BUT...

...I'm totally putting Glee on notice.

I can't tell you what I felt when I first saw a commercial for this new show that promised to be a musical once a week. My heart was filled with gladness at these tidings. Finally musicals were going to be embraced for the awesomeness that they embody.

Last night's episode was a long way from that initial feeling.

I've overlooked the crappy writing on this show for a long time, preferring instead to focus on the ridiculously talented singers and the awesomeness that is Jane Lynch. I've tried to pretend that Mr. Shue doesn't grate on my nerves in the hopes that they will all sing a peppy, choreographed number and he will sit on the dark somewhere. I've ignored the elevator music'd Full House lesson moments at the end of each episode in favour of the moments where Brittany says something amusing or Kurt busts out another fabulous outfit.

But after last night, I just don't know how much more I can take.

Grilled Cheesus really? For the first time in my Glee life I fast-forwarded through a song. A song. The whole reason I watch the show are the songs, and I fast-forwarded through one. Comments were made like "this is like a bad American Idol". Considering the state of American Idol these days, comparisons are not a good thing.

And Finn, if this Grilled Cheesus was so amazing and did everything you asked for, why the hell aren't you using it to make Kurt's dad better? How hokey was is that Kurt's dad only started showing any kind of positive response once Kurt had decided to let prayer into his life?

I'm all for spirituality but that? That was lame.

Glee, you've hurt me. I mean you've done some cringe-inducing songs in the past, (She' Having My Baby and Bust A Move come to mind) but last night? It actually hurt me to have to watch. Are you having problems finding permission of songs to sing? Are the writers starting to give up? What's going on?

When you were shiny and new you were awesome, all Journey'd up. But you have seriously lost some of your shine and I don't even know if I can keep coming back week after week.

Sort it out.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Giant Rats

I had a dream last night that I got a publishing job.

So this morning I took it as a sign (as I'm apt to do) that something good was going to pop up for me on the job boards and I searched like a madwoman.

Maybe it was just a dream after all because there was nothing there. Nada. Zero. Zilch.

I'm obviously after immediate gratification here. I had the dream, that had absolutely no basis in any kind of reality (there were giant rats, and I still lived at home which was a giant patio...) and I woke up this morning and expected a job to roll my way. That's just how my brain works. In my dream I had an interview for some kind of publishing job and then I got it. Sure the interviewer was 14. The point is, I got the job.

In my dream that is.

Its probably more a Mad Men withdrawal situation. We started watching it a couple of weeks ago and quickly became addicted. Its all about working, its no wonder that it sort of drifted into my dream world. A couple of episodes of season 1 turned into running out and buying season 2 and last night we finished season 3. Season 4 is airing right now and the DVD for season 4 won't come out until probably March (based on last year's release- why isn't this being released for Christmas??) and I don't know what I'm going to do without my Mad Men fix.

I already looked at the free shows on the PVR-- there is something messed up with the Mad Men section. We can't risk finding out more about any one episode because we might find out something we didn't want to know. Like when we were on the 4th season of Dexter and we watched TMZ and they completely ruined the end of the season for us. I don't want to be responsible for ruining someone else's enjoyment of a truly stellar season but if you are a Dexter fan, remember how season 4 ended? Remember how shocked you were? Yeah, thats the part they ruined for us.

I recognize that my post about my dream job has turned into a recitation of my television viewing habits, but you have to admit, my TV habits are way more interesting at this point.

Oh and if you are wondering, I don't feel any more sick than I did yesterday, I did job search like a good girl (even applied for something). AND I went to the gym. I'm a f*cking star.

Here's hoping my dream comes true in the form of a job. But no giant rats please.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Unemployed Illness Guilt

I feel like I'm getting sick. Which makes me even less willing to look for jobs than I was before.

Its not that I don't want a shiny new job, obviously. Its that I hate looking for one. I feel the same way about studying. Just don't like to do it. A necessary evil I guess. But like I said, I'm getting sick.

Back when I was working for the devil, I would have welcomed the opportunity to legitimately miss out on some work days. Especially on a Monday! But these days obviously I don't have a job to call in sick to. All I really want to do is drag my blankets off my bed, move them to the couch and watch terrible television.

I totally have the freedom to do this. But I would feel super guilty all day.

Therein lies the rub.

When I had a job (the one that I hated you might recall) I didn't feel guilty about taking a sick day, even if that sick day was more that The Boyfriend's parents were in town. I felt guilty when I first started working there but that was before I really knew what it was like there. I should also point out that before that job I never took sick days unless I was honest-to-God dying and couldn't leave my bed. And let's face it, that kind of illness doesn't  happen very often.

So to recap: employed me welcomed the chance to skip out on work due to illness as a way of getting back at the establishment for treating me like a second class citizen.


Now that I don't have a job and the only things that I have to accomplish each day are job searching and gym going, I agonize over whether to take a time out. Because the only person that it affects, is me. Well me and The Boyfriend since its my fault we have no money to spend on fun things right now.

Plus if I'm just starting to get sick now one of 2 things will happen: either it will continue to be a false alarm like it has been for the past week and I will have wasted a job searching day for nothing or I will get really violently ill and I will have to waste 2 days of job searching.

I guess I'm job searching today. But I'm not happy about it. Think of it as my version of your sucky-office-Monday.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

I Still Don't Have A Puppy

I have officially been funemployed for 2 months now. On the one hand it feels like longer and on the other, its hard to believe its been that long because I effectively took August off to recuperate from the sh*tshow that was my job.

But its been 2 months and since I have been neglecting you AND since I got nothing else, I decided that the timing was perfect for a retrospective. You know, look back and discuss the good and the bad about my time being funemployed. Maybe this would be more appropriate subject matter if my time as a non-contributing member of society was coming to an end, but we don't know when that will be and I need something to bore you with today, so here we are.

The Good

  • My forehead crease has gone away and I don't walk around looking like a heinous b*tch. Now you'll see me and think something like I could totally approach her. I can only assume this is because I'm not surrounded by idiocy for 8 hours a day and I'm happy about that.
  • My skin has also cleared up. Apparently I'm a stress breakout-er.
  • I go to the gym several times a week. Sure its so that I can watch Days of our Lives without being judged by The Boyfriend, but isn't the point that I'm going?
  • Shopping at Metrotown in the middle of a weekday isn't nearly as traumatic as going on a weekend.
  • I get a lot of time to read. This meant that I read Twilight (I'm still ashamed) but I've read other stuff like The Picture of Dorian Gray to make up for that lapse in judgement. 
  • I've been able to catch up with all the important people in my life because I have all the time in the world.
The Bad
  • I have no money to spend when I go to Metrotown in the middle of the week. I have no money for anything fun really. And I get a panicky feeling whenever I have to pay for anything. I'm still sitting on an air mattress looking for work because we can't afford a desk.
  • Being around people for short amounts of time now, exhausts me. My tolerance for being around people has gone way down since most days its just me and The Boyfriend.
  • Sometimes I drink during the day. Like you wouldn't, given the chance.
  • I'm still not gainfully employed (duh).
The Ugly
  • I punctured a tire (we assume it was me) and now we're driving around on 3 balding tires and one banged up, yet grippy, spare tire.
  • I have to answer Hows the job search coming? at least 5 times a day. I know people are just asking because they are curious, taking an interest in my jobless state and want to help, but that doesn't stop the irrational urge to punch something from surging through me. 
  • I still don't have a puppy.
All in all, a most concise summary.

Monday, September 27, 2010

All Over The Map

When I'm not sitting in front of the computer searching for jobs, I have a really good, positive attitude about my ongoing job search. I'm filled with comforting platitudes like "If its meant to be it will be" and "it will all work out the way its supposed to" and my personal favourite "the perfect job will find me".

But when I'm staring at the computer, confronted with all the job postings that I'm either not quite qualified for or over-qualified for, I start to feel that cold hand squeeze my stomach in panic. 

Where is this perfect job? Why isn't it finding me? Why haven't I been able to flaunt my new, fabulous job in the faces of all the a$$holes that I used to work with? Why isn't everything working out? Did I not suffer enough in that place? Universe, why are you playing games with me?

Part of the problem is, I'm not looking to work at Home Depot at this point (although I have heard good things). Part of me (that part that looks at bank statements and sees no money coming in and freaks out) totally entertains the idea of begging for work at Chapters (do you think they would just pay me in books?) but the more rational part of me knows that that's just a cop out at this point. I suffered for over 2 years, completely undervalued, treated like an idiot, punished for being awesome. 

They keep saying that the economy has recovered, that we're back to where we want to be. But if this is true, where are all the jobs? I just went through page after page of job listings that consisted of retail sales positions. I know that Christmas is coming up (no one is getting any presents at this rate FYI) but can we not segregate these jobs from the career-starting jobs?

I even tried posting myself on LinkedIn. I kept seeing it on job sites and figured, why not? What can it hurt to have my info out there for people to see. 

I deleted my pathetic LinkedIn profile. We don't need half-a$$ed anythings associated with my name. 

Why? Well the problem with LinkedIn is that you have to choose one industry to "work" in. And that's kind of the problem I'm having. At this point, as long as the industry I end up in isn't finance or insurance, I'm pretty much good. I have no problems getting someone's coffee as long as there is room for advancement, a way to be promoted within the company or get some kind of on-the-job training. You know?

In my head it totally makes sense. The companies that I have sent resumes to should just call me and set up an interview. Because I totally rock at interviews and then they would see that I'm completely capable of completing any tasks they throw at me with flair. Seriously.

Until that day (its coming right?) I will continue to comfort myself with "it will all work out the way its supposed to". 

And I will even try to believe it.